Apple patents new tech for its iBooks

Apple has filed for some new technology patents that are designed to improve and add features to the company's iBooks division. The web site PatentlyApple.com reports that the patents, which appeared last week on the US Patent and Trademark Office, are designed to make reading books, especially children's books, more interactive.

People who own an iPad and read books on it using iBooks can already highlight a word and see a bar appear over it with things like dictionary options. However, Apple's new patent says that future versions of iBooks will allow people who highlight a word to bring up even more options like animations, video, and images associated with that word. It could even read portions of the text to the person.

Apple also sees its new tech as perhaps offering up information such as the original source of the word, its history, and its pronunciation. Apple is showing in its patent application a way for people to use a touch screen to swipe a word or phrase and have those words read aloud. That feature could be used to help people learn a foreign language.

Other parts of the patent application included Apple proposing things like interactive games that pop up if you select a particular word in iBooks such as, for example, "soccer". You could also touch the name of a song and have the music for that song start playing. Even touching a "+" sign could bring up a calculator application under Apple's patent proposal.

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